March 2010

Carer had thousands of indecent images on PC

A carer with an addiction for child sexual abuse images, who used his mother’s credit card to buy images, has been jailed for three years.

Thomas Purnell, aged 25, was first arrested in July 2008 when officers discovered he had used a card to purchase sick images of child sex abuse.

The Daventry home he shared with his disabled mother was raided on July 16, 2008 and his computer seized.

It held 32,000 picture files, 611 of which were indecent images including a large quantity showing adults sexually abusing children.

The card had been used to buy access to a nudism website and Purnell said he was a “nudist at heart” without a sexual interest in children.

But Northampton Crown Court heard that after he was interviewed in April last year, police discovered he had a new laptop in his bedroom.

Rosa Dean, prosecuting, said he was released on police bail, he was interviewed again in April, but when police returned to his home, they spotted a new computer.

Once that was examined, it was found to hold 4,320 indecent images, including some showing child torture and bestiality.

Purnell, of Howard Close, Daventry, pleaded guilty to 19 charges of making and possessing abusive images.

Judge Ian Alexander QC sentenced him to 12 months and two years, to run consecutively, placed him on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life and made him the subject of an indefinite sexual offences prevention order.

He said: “It’s plain you have been accessing this material for a number of years.”